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Despite getting healthy, Karl Alzner remains a last-minute decision for Caps-Pens Game 3

Despite getting healthy, Karl Alzner remains a last-minute decision for Caps-Pens Game 3

PITTSBURGH — Defenseman Karl Alzner will take warmups prior to Monday’s Game 3 at PPG Paints Arena before a decision on his status is made, coach Barry Trotz said.

“We’re going to do warmup, and he’ll be a game-time decision,” Trotz said after the morning skate.

Alzner has been sidelined since Game 2 of the opening round because of an upper body injury. He’s been skating with the team since the middle of the Toronto series and has been ramping up his level of participation in recent days.

During Monday's morning’s skate, Alzner took rushes on the extra defensive pair alongside Taylor Chorney. He did not, however, stay on the ice for extra conditioning work.

“We’re waiting for [Alzner] to be healthy, and we’re waiting for when he feels he can contribute, then we’ll put him in the lineup,” Trotz said. “He’s getting close.”

Trotz also said that he has not decided whether to dress seven defensemen.

“We’ll determine that right after warmup,” Trotz said.

Through eight games, the Caps are allowing 3.13 goals per game—the worst average among teams still in the playoffs. The Penguins lead the series 2-0.

MORE CAPS: Where is Washington in the playoff power rankings?

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Capitals defensive prospect Aaron Ness stable after scary injury in Hershey playoff game

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Capitals defensive prospect Aaron Ness stable after scary injury in Hershey playoff game

In their first game against the Bridgeport Tigers to kick off the 2019 Calder Cup playoffs, the Hershey Bears lost blueliner Aaron Ness to a serious injury in the third period.

After Travis St. Denis put pressure on Ness from behind, Ness lost an edge and slid into the goal post and then crashed head-first into the boards, where he was seemingly knocked unconscious. He laid motionless for a few moments as he received attention from medical personnel.

The 28-year-old was stretchered off the ice and transported to Bridgeport Hospital, where he underwent further evaluation. Bears play-by-play announcer Zack Fisch later reported through Dan "Beaker" Stuck that Ness was awake and alert at the hospital and getting x-rays, according to Chocolate Hockey.

The Bears posted an update on Twitter Saturday in regards to his status, saying that he is in stable condition and is expected to be released. It's unclear when he will return to action, but it likely won't be anytime soon.

Ness, one of Hershey's six alternate captains, had 50 assists and 55 points in 71 games with the Bears in the regular season. He has three points in 18 games up in the NHL with Washington.

After the Sound Tigers tied the game following the Ness injury to force OT, Kieffer Bellows scored in double overtime to lift Bridgeport to a 3-2 win to take Game 1 of the series.

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'Canes Svechnikov says Ovechkin asked him to fight first in Game 3

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'Canes Svechnikov says Ovechkin asked him to fight first in Game 3

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Game 3 fight between Hurricanes rookie Andrei Svechnikov and Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. Finally, though, Svechnikov shared his side of the story Saturday.

The Russian forward returned to the ice for the Hurricanes' morning skate prior to Game 5, then told the media that Ovechkin was the first to ask him to fight before the two dropped the gloves. They exchanged a couple of punches before Ovechkin knocked out Svechnikov, which ultimately put him in concussion protocol and kept him out of the lineup.

"He ask me first for fight," Svechnikov told Tom Gulitti of NHL.com. "I'm not a superhero, ask first for fight... I said yes. I just want to stand up for myself."

Sara Civ, The Athletic's Hurricanes beat reporter, also said that Ovechkin apologized to Svechnikov after the game.

Svechnikov is hopeful to return to Game 6, but will not return to the lineup Saturday. Gulitti reported that he was in a yellow (probably non-contact) jersey and was sporting a full cage at practice.

Washington and Carolina square off for Game 5 at 8 p.m. Saturday on NBC.

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